By Jeremy Haskell
It's springtime in New England, and for many of us in the HR world, that means it's convention season. As part of my role with JobsInTheUS.com, I am tasked with attending the many wonderful events that occur in our markets: The Maine HR Convention, the Granite State HR Conference, Tri-State SHRM (Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) and the SHRM Vermont State Conference (to be held later this year).
I get a lot out of attending these conferences and conventions, talking about my company's services while learning about the issues that our clients and business partners want us to help solve. But that's what I get paid to do. Why should you attend? Here are a few reasons.
Gain Exposure to Industry-leading Ideas
At every conference, there is a wide variety of speakers who are there to introduce you to the "next big thing." Even though not every one of those ideas becomes big, it's still valuable to see what is on the cutting edge of our industry. We're all too well aware of the major challenges we face in HR. So, why not take an opportunity to hear what the pundits have to say, and then make up your own mind as to whether or not it will help your organization?
Bring a Business Partner
Don't forget to bring a line manager or a senior business partner along with you to the convention. This will help you to learn more about the impact that HR can have on the bottom line of your company. By seeing firsthand the ways that leading HR thinkers are applying theory to strategic initiatives, you and your business partner will be able to build bridges within your organization that will help it grow.
Interact with Your Peers
HR is a people business, by definition. And what better way to grow, sharpen and enhance your skills than to work with other practitioners who not only share your specialty, but who also work in the same community? Chances are that if you're having a hard time finding someone to fill that niche position within your organization, there is another HR professional in another local company who is facing similar challenges. It would be great to discuss these issues in the comfortable, face-to-face setting of an HR convention.
Get Out of the Office and Be Inspired
Don't get me wrong - of course you're going to the event to work, learn, better yourself, and increase your organization's bottom line. But, let's not kid ourselves here - a day away from the daily grind of the office is a great way to recharge your batteries and learn something new.